Santa Fe Trail

The year 2021 is the 200th commemoration of the historic Santa Fe Trail and the Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA) wants teachers planning to teach about the trail to know that they have resources available.

Said the association, “SFTA has several bibliographies, for adults and youth, on our website as well as learning activities for children of all ages. While on the website, check out our Junior Wagon Master Program.

“We also have educational trunks with lesson plans, costumes, trade items and books. They are situated in chapters along the trail. If you live on, or near, the Santa Fe Trail, one may be very close to you and can be checked out.”

If teachers would like more information, or help finding more educational materials, they can contact and the education committee of the Santa Fe Trail, chaired by Janet Armstead.

The following is a brief description of the project and some examples of items and resources available for educational purposes from the Santa Fe Trail Association:

Education projects

To encourage education about the Santa Fe Trail, the SFTA has received funding for projects through our cooperative agreement with the NPS.  

These projects take place at both the National and Chapter level of the SFTA.  Projects can include cooperative programs between SFTA and schools (from elementary to university levels and including programs for home-schooling); training sessions for SFTA members and the general public on various aspects of the SFT, SFTA, and the SFNHT; and educating the general public about the SFNHT through means including but not limited to: brochures, booklets, placemats, podcasts, videocasts, and a variety of other various media.

Examples of SFTA education projects:

Santa Fe Trail placemats

Because of their popularity, SFTA has reprinted another supply of placemats. The front side of the placemat has a map of the Trail, with many sites marked, as well as some artwork that can be colored with.  On the back are a couple of SFT-related puzzles, some basic information about the Trail, SFTA membership information and websites where you can get more information about the Trail.  These placemats can be used by both adults and children and are distributed with the help of the chapters.  They have proven to be very popular with teachers, school groups, for use in restaurants along the Trail and also as a resource to hand out to the public basic information about the Trail.  Teachers, organizations, civic groups, etc., can request a supply of these placemats by contacting

Table-top displays  

Three-panel, table-top displays have been created to be used by the SFTA chapters to provide a visual, educational experience about the Santa Fe National Historic Trail (SFNHT), as well as the area covered by each chapter.  

Panels one and two concentrate on the SFNHT, its history and use, as well as information about the Santa Fe Trail Association and our endeavors to preserve, protect and educate about the Trail.  

The third panel will focus on each chapter’s area of the Trail.  In addition to the tri-fold table-top displays, each chapter has received a carrying case, as well as printed information to hand out, including such items as the Santa Fe Trail placemats,  SFTA membership brochures and the official Map & Guide of the Santa Fe Trail brochures provided by the NPS.  

The table-top displays, printed materials and the placemats are intended to be used at chapter functions, in the classroom, at school programs, at civic meetings, at community events, at trade shows, at conferences — anywhere a display can be set up to educate the public about the Santa Fe Trail.


The SFTA is able to provide knowledgeable speakers, as well as guides to Trail sites.  Recently, SFTA Member and Mapping/Marking Chair, Jeff Trotman, spoke to over 400 Boy Scouts about the Santa Fe Trail.

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